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Old 09-30-2008, 09:27 PM   #1
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Are breakfalls really necessary?

I've heard of a lot of people getting injured during break falls. Unlike in judo where they spar and make each other fall I'm not sure if it is really necessary to use break falls in Aikido training. I mean it's not like a real attacker outside of the gym would fall that way. (or would they?)

So are break falls really necessary in Aikido training? What do you think?
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
mickeygelum
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Mr. Reyes,

What was Camar Sensei's response to this question?

Yes, they are necessary.

Mickey
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
raul rodrigo
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Well a nidan friend of ours was accosted by a mugger with a knife one night and responded with kote gaeshi. The mugger came to grief on the sidewalk due to lack to ability to handle that kind of fall.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:56 PM   #4
elizondo
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

What happened to the mugger?
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:01 PM   #5
raul rodrigo
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Nothing good. In addition to the impact with the concrete, our friend felt the bones in the mugger's wrist snap or dislocate during the kote gaeshi. After that, my friend didn't stop to give first aid; he got out of there quick in case the mugger had backup, a common enough occurrence in Manila streets.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:02 PM   #6
Ketsan
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Enrique Antonio Reyes wrote: View Post
I've heard of a lot of people getting injured during break falls. Unlike in judo where they spar and make each other fall I'm not sure if it is really necessary to use break falls in Aikido training. I mean it's not like a real attacker outside of the gym would fall that way. (or would they?)

So are break falls really necessary in Aikido training? What do you think?
Hmm, if I stopped taking ukemi and I didn't get injured I wouldn't go back. A couple of times I've had techniques perfomed on me before I was ready to take ukemi, it isn't a pleasent experience.

With Sumi otoshi the first part of my body to make contact with the floor was the back of my skull (feet were in the air) and I was in no condition to carry on after or even for a couple of days after!

Nobody with any sense or experience ever said that ukemi would allow you to avoid injury 100% of the time. Done correctly there is no ukemi, all techniques are modifed to allow uke to take ukemi so that training can take place. They're still not safe, but they are safer.

Ukemi is just a method for escaping most of the destructive power of a technique. In practice the idea is that your opponent doesn't know the ukemi and so recieves all of the destructive energy and is...............destroyed.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:35 AM   #7
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Lightbulb Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Mr. Reyes,

What was Camar Sensei's response to this question?

Yes, they are necessary.

Mickey
Hi Mickey. I'm not so sure about your intention but to answer you I never really asked him that question. I'm guessing he'd say...Yes?
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:39 AM   #8
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Ukemi is just a method for escaping most of the destructive power of a technique. In practice the idea is that your opponent doesn't know the ukemi and so recieves all of the destructive energy and is...............destroyed.
Hi Alex,

Please note that I only meant break falls or hard falls. I didn't mean to remove "rolls" from training

One-Aiki,

Iking
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:43 AM   #9
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Lightbulb Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Well a nidan friend of ours was accosted by a mugger with a knife one night and responded with kote gaeshi. The mugger came to grief on the sidewalk due to lack to ability to handle that kind of fall.
Thank you for your input Raul and I pity the mugger for not asking first if his potential victim is a "nidan".

My point is that during training we almost always get by doing a back roll during a kote gaeshi. It is only when we are requested to that we do a breakfall.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. Again, thanks for the input.

One-Aiki,

Iking
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:30 AM   #10
ilia rudnitskiy
 
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

It all depends on the speed and the "size" of the technique...

For example, if nage applies kotegaeshi very swiftly, your body won't be able to keep up with a normal back roll, and you are likely to injure your wrist... this is why we perform a breakfall (or my opinion anyways) which is much faster than a back roll.

Secondly, if the nage performs kotegaeshi while moving your wrist across his body, say from one knee to the other, your body would have to travel a long distance, and a back roll might be uncomfortable... therefore, we do a breakfall to "jump" that distance.

This applies to pretty much any technique, and even more so to techniques that are very difficult or impossible to roll out of... such as shihonage (if you do it the arm-breaking way).

Also, I don't see how you could get injured while breakfalling if you practice them correctly... And the reason that any attacker outside the dojo wouldn't breakfall is, as Raul stated, that they would have a broken wrist (or any other part of their body).
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:44 AM   #11
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Nope. We never do them.
Mary
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:53 AM   #12
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

It really depends how you project the energy of a throw. If I throw my partner down at the ground he should break fall. If I throw him outward and away he should roll.

A good example of this is kata garuma. I can pick you up and throw you right at my feet. In this case, you need to break fall. I could dive under you and 'wheel' you over the top of me, in this case you might breakfall, but you also have the option to roll, and probably should take that.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:10 AM   #13
DH
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Maybe the OP's question is more to the point than the follow-ups.
Why is it that under full resistance-breakfalls aren't usually needed?

I think considering the dynamic in grappling is a smart place to start. There, breakfalls are more difficult to get. I think there is a great deal of fallacy in the Japanese nage / /Uke training model that states that Many of the more dangerous techniques had to either be removed or practiced slowly. I've suggested or flat out stated in several threads that fighting back "changes" the dynamics in the human frame and mindset that greatly affects how the body responds. Under stress many of these supposedly "deadly" and "dangerous" techniques actually prove to be highly improbable and in many cases a practical impossibility. When you consider these waza were supposedly meant to work when tried against the "supposedly equally trained warrior" the improbability goes not from the how effective "it is" but whether "it ever was."
I think a lot of these waza. were invented after and between any war, by an older version of bored farmers and suburbanites with Japanese names. Most experienced grapplers-which was what these warriors were supposed to be-would never let you get that joint that way, the body dynamic, would for the most part, deny the opportunity. And their response to an atemi, would never be to jump or roll away from it, but to counter and throw or punch, kick, and head butt the crap out of you for trying.

If folks are having fun thats great, but its nice to have fun and maintain a more level headed understanding of the probablities in using waza as a cop, or as a defense against an ever growng "grappling-aware" public so that in a self-defense situation you're not expecting something that isnlt going to happen and are at least more aware of what and who you may be actually playing at and with.

Last edited by DH : 10-01-2008 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:25 AM   #14
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Moin moin,
Quote:
Enrique Antonio Reyes wrote: View Post
My point is that during training we almost always get by doing a back roll during a kote gaeshi. It is only when we are requested to that we do a breakfall.
In our Aikido we never tell uke how to fall, but we lead (or try to) uke by our technique.

For example we do kote gaeshi in different ways:
There is a way to execute the technique, so uke can fall backward.
We can execute it in a way, so uke has to take a forward roll.
And we can (try to) do it in a way, uke has to take a forward breakfall. (This doesn't only mean to hold his wrist, but also the kuzushi is slightly different.)

That implies that uke doesn't take breakfalls because of joint pressure oder pain but because his whole body is leaded this way.
We don't work on the wrist, but try to affect the center of uke and thereby his whole body.

And yes: According to the way nage does the technique breakfalls are really necessary. It is nage who decides.

Carsten
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:37 AM   #15
Ketsan
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Enrique Antonio Reyes wrote: View Post
Hi Alex,

Please note that I only meant break falls or hard falls. I didn't mean to remove "rolls" from training

One-Aiki,

Iking
That's what I'm talking about, we call it forward ukemi. Yes, rolls are also forward ukemi but by some language quirk in our dojo "forward ukemi" refers to any flip or high fall.

When techniques are performed correctly the safest, if not the only pratical, option should be forward ukemi . Uke willbe taking a very heavy fall so they have a choice, either they land in a heap or they take forward ukemi.

Where I practice rolls are only practical when technique is done slowly to give up forward ukemi would probably be safer, but it would demand that we lower the intensity of our training.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:46 AM   #16
Eva Antonia
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Hi all,

according to my very limited experience, there are a lot of factors influencing the necessity of breakfalls.

1) The weight of uke and tori...it's much easier for a well built person to apply a technique to a lightweight and send her/ him flying than vice versa - especially if you are not yet very advanced.

2) The experience of uke and tori. I remember from randoris in our dojo, but also from normal training that there are (for me) no possibilities not to do a breakfall, when certain persons perorm kote gaeshi, sumi otoshi or juji garami on me. There wouldn't just be the time to think of trying a backfall because I'd already be flying. On the other hand, there is NO ONE I could make do a breakfall, and if they do on a technique performed by me, they do it just for the pleasure of breakfalling. Third, in our dojo is a guy who ALWAYS tries to escape breakfalls with backrolls, and noone ever made him do a breakfall...but then I think toris know that he is afraid of breakfalls and just don't try too hard.

3) The dynamic of the attack and the defense. If things like sumi otoshi, kote gaeshi etc. are done really quickly, and with the right turn and distance and so on (all things I know theoretically but don't manage in practice), then how do you NOT do a breakfall? I know from my wrists that for example kote gaeshi just doesn't work if applied slowly; you can turn and turn and nothing really happens, but if it's done rapidly, it's the loss of equilibrium that makes me do the fall and not the hurting wrist. Or for example really quick irimi nage (direct or indirect) or ten shi nage, that causes a sort of backwards breakfall because you just don't have the time to fold your body for a backroll, but you still can stretch out the arm and turn a bit around in order to buffer the fall and not crash on your skull...

4) Whatever forward or sideward fall when you hold the kimono of the partner...what can he do?

I don't know if I will think the same if I ever (hopefully) become a DAN...but at the moment it looks like this

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:48 AM   #17
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

I just thought of something else. When I throw in judo 9 times out of 10 I do not let go of my partner. This removes rolling as a possible ukemi.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:56 AM   #18
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I just thought of something else. When I throw in judo 9 times out of 10 I do not let go of my partner. This removes rolling as a possible ukemi.
I think you hit the nail on the head there Don.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:00 AM   #19
DH
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I just thought of something else. When I throw in judo 9 times out of 10 I do not let go of my partner. This removes rolling as a possible ukemi.
You also "forgot" my point. Usually they.....haven't let go of you either! Hence the furtherance of my point that the dynamic changes. I'd add to that the way the body falls when being thrown from active resistance is different as well.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:27 AM   #20
Mato-san
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

I guess this one goes back to the CT thread, if you as Uke hang on long enough, sure the breakfall is valid. Or if you as Nage, as in Kotegaishi (for a loose example) hang on long enough, once again sure the Ukes big fall is valid. Showtime I say!
But its all fun.

Personally I reserve that kind of thing for the Jo, as Uke I will hang onto that thing as if it were a spear, because the reality is if it were a spear you would probably not want to release.

I think the cling on point (Uke or Nage) is very valid in this thread and other threads possibly overlooked, be it taijutsu, ken or Jo.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #21
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
We don't work on the wrist [...]
You don't work on the wrist in kotegaeshi...? Ouch. So that's a kokyunage, not a kotegaeshi.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:30 AM   #22
phitruong
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I just thought of something else. When I throw in judo 9 times out of 10 I do not let go of my partner. This removes rolling as a possible ukemi.
not only they don't let you go, they ride you down into the floor too, sort of a double whammy kind of thing. for folks who don't believe in breakfall, I'd just say kata guruma.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:45 AM   #23
raul rodrigo
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
not only they don't let you go, they ride you down into the floor too, sort of a double whammy kind of thing. for folks who don't believe in breakfall, I'd just say kata guruma.
Hell, why not soto makikomi? No rolling out of that one.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #24
C. David Henderson
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

I believe I understand why people are questioning the need to do breakfalls (either often or at all); however, I think knowing how to do them well is well worth knowing.

Breakfalls have kept me from injury both in practice (e.g., hard and/or unexpected throws) and outside (e.g., mountain biking). Even if we were to agree that breakfalls are not "necessary" most of time, when the time comes, knowing how may be critical.

For what its worth.

David Henderson
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:04 AM   #25
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Are breakfalls really necessary?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
You don't work on the wrist in kotegaeshi...? Ouch. So that's a kokyunage, not a kotegaeshi.
It is not our "first intention" or goal when doing kote gaeshi to destroy or injure the joint. Our intention or goal is to move the whole uke, his body. So we work on the center of uke by using the contact at the wrist. (It's the same with nikyo e.g.)

Check out the third one: Kote gaeshi or kokyu nage?
The first one is different, but there is no difference in bending the wrist between the second (ushiro ukemi) and the third version (mae ukemi). It isn't causing pain this way anywa. What throws uke in the third version is the different kuzushi. And it isn't possible to do ushiro ukemi in that situation.

Carsten
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